Coffee Ceremony Crowd Shot Blessed Coffee and members of the Brewing Change campaign team were among the more than 40 vendors at the 3rd Annual Ethiopian Festival held this past Saturday at Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring.

The Festival slogan, “Celebrating diversity—promoting the joy of unity,” could be experienced everywhere at the event.  Festival attendees from near and far enjoyed Ethiopian food, shopped for arts and crafts, and enjoyed the sights and sounds of Ethiopian performers.

Mannequin Kimberly and Gretchen Blessed Coffee’s tent was a popular destination.  A steady rotation of volunteers sold traditional and iced coffees as well as Blessed Coffee gift cards.  Seats were always filled for the coffee ceremonies that were held throughout the day. 

Multicultura Kids Statues Brewing Change campaign team members were at the event, in force.  They staffed a Brewing Change tent that was set up café style to promote conversation.  Team members answered questions about Blessed Coffee and the campaign.  They also managed to make time to sell specially designed “Ethiopia” t-shirts.

Family Lady in RedOf course, there were many people from the Ethiopian diaspora at the Festival.  But, downtown Silver Spring really embraced the event as well.  Many local leaders as well as individuals and families from the surrounding neighborhoods also came out to enjoy the culture and diversity.     

Mehbrahtu and Yared T-ShirtsPerhaps Dana Beyer of Progressive Neighbors Montgomery summed up the significance of the event best:  “This Festival represents what Silver Spring and Montgomery County have now become—people from all over the world are coming here and our community is being enriched by it.  . . .  Blessed Coffee and this Festival are part of the new way forward for a progressive economy.”    

5 thoughts on “Brewing Change at the 3rd Annual Ethiopian Festival

  1. Lanita,

    What a wonderful article about a truly amazing event.  I am constantly blown away at the love and respect the Ethiopian Community shares at this event.  Love is in the air and the entire plaza is filled with energy of joy and happiness.  Each year this event grows attracting more diverse people from all races, cultures, and ethnicities to come and join in the celebrating the Ethiopian culture.

    A truly wonderful day.

    Congratulations to all the parties involved you did a masterful job.

  2. You captured so many highlights of such a busy event, Lanita! It was a beautiful day weatherwise for the event, and a beautiful event itself – so many people coming together to celebrate Ethiopia. Can't wait for the next one!

  3. As a first-time attendee of the Ethiopian Festival, it was a great to experience Ethiopian culture first-hand, including witnessing my first coffee ceremony.  

    I also appreciated being able to share my experience as a member of the Brewing Change team and the story of this campaign with event participants. 



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